A Woodcliff Lake-based contractor will pay $1.87 million to the U.S. government to resolve charges that it cut corners on a federally-funded contract to build a railroad bridge connecting Queens and Brooklyn.
Kiewit Constructors Inc. signed a deal with the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) for work on the mile-and-a-half Atlantic Avenue Viaduct in 2009, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said Friday.
Federal funds that were dedicated to “furnishing and installing new steel girders and spans, along with related steelwork,” required the LIRR to mandate that its contractors hire subcontractors certified by New York State as Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, Carpenito said.
Such businesses are owned and controlled by “socially and economically disadvantaged” citizens who are given “a fair opportunity to compete for federally funded transportation contracts,” the government says.
Kiewit, on Chestnut Ridge Road, subcontracted with one of those businesses, Iron Eagle Construction Corp, “to furnish and install steel spans,” Carpenito said Friday.
Iron Eagle was “obligated to manage the steel fabrication process, conduct inspections, and coordinate steel delivery schedules,” under Kiewit’s contract, the U.S. attorney said.
However, he said, “Iron Eagle did not perform a commercially useful function for the furnishing of steel spans under the DBE subcontract, in that it did not sufficiently manage the steel fabrication process, conduct necessary inspections, or coordinate steel delivery schedules.”
Kiewit, in turn, “did not take contractually mandated steps to address Iron Eagle’s failure to perform a commercially useful function” and “failed to meet its DBE obligations under the contract,” Carpenito said.
The U.S. Attorney credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of the Inspector General and special agents of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Office of Inspector General with the investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark C. Orlowski of Carpenito’s Civil Division and David E. Dauenheimer, the division’s deputy chief, are handling the case.
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